Forget Armadillos — Minecraft now runs at 4K on Xbox Series X|S with the latest preview build

Image of Armadillos and Wolf Armor in Minecraft.
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios | X)

What you need to know

  • Minecraft Preview. is now available for Minecraft players to test on Xbox, Windows PC, Android, and iOS.
  • The headlining feature is supposedly the addition of Minecraft Live 2023's Mob Vote winner, the Armadillo.
  • This adorable mob brings Wolf Armor into the game, letting you protect your furry pets.
  • However, the most exciting addition is actually the support for 4K resolutions on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.

Is this actually happening? Years of waiting, years of complaining, years of legitimate critiques and frustrating leaks — and Minecraft is finally getting some form of current-gen upgrade. Okay, it's not the full ray-tracing fans have been clamoring for, but Minecraft will soon be able to run at a much crispier 4K (2160p) resolution on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. Finally, Minecraft fans will have an actual reason to consider Microsoft's most powerful consoles.

Minecraft Preview looks to be a pretty standard affair in many ways. It tests some new features coming in the future Minecraft 1.21 update; it brings a ton of general fixes and improvements; it updates the interface for elements like the Edit World screen; it drops a myriad of updates for creators. At first, I was ecstatic to see that Armadillos are already here in their earliest iteration, much faster than I expected after the little critters won the Minecraft Live 2023 Mob Vote. However, my excitement was quickly rerouted after spying a tiny note stashed quietly away in the middle of the update changelog.

"Added 4k resolution support for Xbox Series consoles." Finally, something is happening to improve Minecraft on what's supposed to be Microsoft's flagship duo of consoles. For years now, Minecraft has run identically (and sometimes even worse) on Xbox Series X|S versus the aging Xbox One consoles and other platforms, but this is a sign that Mojang Studios is finally making an effort to improve the Minecraft experience on the newer consoles. It's a small change, but a welcome one nonetheless. Minecraft is about to look a whole lot crispier, and you can go test the change now via Minecraft Preview.

Minecraft fans rejoice, the game is a little sharper on Xbox Series X|S. (Image credit: Windows Central | Jez Corden)

An interesting fact to note is that this resolution upgrade is coming to both Xbox Series X and Series S. 4K on the Series X is standard, but it's uncommon for games to push above QHD (1440p) on the more compact current-gen console. I assume that performance will likely be more consistent on the Series X versus its smaller sibling at that higher resolution, but it's still awesome to see Mojang strive for that kind of parity.

Hopefully, though, this is a sign of more things to come. Players have been clamoring for Mojang Studios to meaningfully upgrade Minecraft for current-gen consoles for years, now, and it just hasn't happened. Unfortunately, I still wouldn't get your hopes up considering recent Minecraft leaks and how Microsoft responded to them, but this is still a step in the right direction. Minecraft is supposed to be one of the best Xbox games, but it doesn't feel best on Xbox. A major resolution boost from paltry FHD (1080p) to 4K is a sizeable improvement, even though the game still isn't an Xbox Series X|S native optimized title (don't expect drastic increases in load speeds or performance).

Of course, there are exciting features in this preview for everyone, not just Xbox Series X|S players. The Armadillo that stole the show at Minecraft Live 2023 is officially entering public testing. It's adorable, loves eating spider eyes, rolls up when it feels threatened, is friendly toward players, and drops scutes periodically when brushed. What are scutes? They're pieces of the Armadillo's armor, and they can be used to craft specialized armor for your favorite furry friends — Wolves. With Armadillos, you'll hopefully never have to worry about losing a Wolf again, as long as it's wearing Wolf Armor.

Minecraft Preview is now available across Xbox Series X|S (of course), Xbox One, Windows PC, Android (as a beta), and iOS. In other recent Minecraft news, the latest official Minecraft update brought more useful pots and cuter bats. Mojang Studios leadership also switched up, with long-time studio head Helen Chiang taking on an expanded role at Xbox Game Studios.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.